Data Transparency in the News

Big Government Is Getting In The Way Of Big Data

When the government wants to know how many people are unemployed, it calls people and asks them whether they’re working. When it wants to know how quickly prices are rising, it sends researchers to stores to check price tags. And when it wants to know how much consumers are spending, it mails forms to thousands of retailers asking about their sales.

// Read at FiveThirtyEight //


Smaller companies exempt from using open-data format for financial reporting under House bill

Defeat of job bill in House reveals open data failures at SEC

But the bill’s defeat tells only part of the story. The Hurt provision, known as the Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, not only threatened the future ability of the SEC to eliminate financial fraud and protect investors but also underscores the agency’s failure to manage the deployment of new data standards that are critical to accurate financial reporting and oversight.

// Read at FedScoop //


SEC’s Year-End XBRL Release Advances the Ball on Data Over Documents

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s year-end release of ‘structured data sets’ of XBRL information appears aimed at improving the access to, and usefulness of, this electronically tagged data.

// Read at Financial Executives International Daily //


Open data builds on the hill as Senate offers XML info

The U.S. Senate will be joining the open data movement when it said it would make bills and other legislative information available for bulk XML download. In making its announcement at the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force meeting, the Senate said it will release machine-readable summary and bill information from the 113th Congress, which just gaveled out, and legislation from the upcoming 114th.

// Read at Government Computer News //


SEC moves to ease access to financial statement data

At the end of 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission took a big step toward making corporate financial data more open, announcing it would repackage the financial statement data it had been gathering from publicly traded companies and releasing them in quarterly datasets.

// Read at FCW //


How one company is trying to tackle Big Data’s big problem

Big data analysis is great if your information is in formats that are easy for computers to read, such as spreadsheets with numbers, or responses on a scale from one to five. But a lot of information isn’t organized like that. Instead, it’s in presentations, memos, reports, comments or just plain e-mail. Analysis of that kind of information — often called “unstructured” or “dark” data — is really tough to do by computer, and companies including Intel, SAP and HP are looking for a more reliable way to do it. Another firm, uReveal, thinks that it’s cracked the code. Charles “Bucky” Clarkson, uReveal’s chairman and CEO, said that software such as his makes it easier to to parse all those government reports and organize the data so that analysts can get more out of it, and more quickly. He also claims that the software is so simple to use that (gasp!) even liberal arts majors can use it.

// Read at Washington Post //


The Other Darrell Issa

But when he isn’t chastising the executive branch and making headlines, another Issa emerges, a forceful advocate for government transparency, capable of working with Democrats and negotiating with the administration to pass open government legislation and whistleblower protections. In May, President Barack Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, a law that will expose federal spending in an online database, allowing Americans to know, for the first time, exactly how the federal government spends its money.

// Read at San Diego Magazine //


Spending transparency gets boost with passage of DATA Act, awaits President’s signature

Bipartisan legislation designed to bring greater transparency, consistency and accuracy into federal government spending through the use of strong, uniform open data standards is headed to President Obama for his signature.

// Read at FierceGovernmentIT //


Congress Passes DATA Act

The House has unanimously passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, also known as the DATA Act, on Monday, following Senate passage earlier this month and sending the legislation to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

// Read at Accounting Today //